Murals at Festival di Pueblo
Traditionally Flag day in Curaçao, July 2nd, is celebrated in the early morning with an official ceremony and presentation at the Brionplein in Otrobanda.
This year His Majesty King Willem and Her Majesty Queen Máxima attended the morning celebrations. New for the occasion was the afternoon Festival di Pueblo, organized in the Breedestraat Otrobanda with several stages offering musical entertainment to community.
Most stages at the Festival di Pueblo 2018 in Otrobanda were reserved for popular music bands. However, the stage at the square next to the Church of Sta. Ana, Elis Juliana-stage, had a different character with cultural presentations by various groups and individual performers.
Stage managers were Ivan Phelipa and Ingelor Keller of Kas di Kultura Kòrsou (Curaçao Cultural Institute). The festival attracted a good crowd and the dushi ambiente (good vibe) was felt everywhere.
Next to the presentations on the Elis Juliana-stage, 4 artist were creating murals on the adjacent wall. Avantia Damberg, Morgaine Paris, Pito Polo and Suzette Rosaria are well known in the Curaçao visual art scene. They were invited by Josée Thissen-Rojer of Kas di Kultura Kòrsou to participate in the event, and create a mural during the Festival di Pueblo 2018.
Suzette Rosaria created a colorful mural with a female portrait in the center, symbolizing the vibrant culture of the island. Avantia Damberg chose to carefully copy a stanza of the national anthem which she felt suited well with the occasion. Morgaine Paris painted a picture of the Holy Family and gave it a local appearance. By giving them a dark skin and adding a background with a local scenery she presented a more accessible group of deities.
Pito Polo painted a portrait of one of the colorful inhabitants of Otrobanda known as Rasta Bientu and gave him a formal appearance by adding an old fashioned collar to his shirt. In the background he painted the famous Emmabridge over the Sta. Ana bay.
The last niche was painted by students of the Art Heals Foundation. All 4 artists and the Art Heals students have done fantastic job, creating splendid murals for the community to enjoy, contemplate and admire.
The murals are still there at the square and Curaçao Art hopes they will remain, even after the property is sold. Also hopefully next time the organiser of Festival di Pueblo will continue the project and add more murals to the square in the remaining niches.
The square is gated but accessible on weekdays between 8 AM and 2 PM. Sunday between 8AM and 6 PM, closed on Saturdays.
Text and photographs by Josée Thissen-Rojer.
Flyer: Festival di Pueblo.